by Peter Houston-Hencken
As Friday night’s game began, the Pirates struggled to take a solid lead. The Willamette Bearcats held back the Pirates and did not let them gain more than a four point lead for most of the first half. With minutes left, the Bearcats broke free and ended half with a score of 37-30.As the second half began, the Pirates attempted to make up for lost ground. This proved to be difficult until the Pirates went on an 11-point run, putting them at a 51-49 lead. Both teams struggled to end the game. As a result, the second half ended with a score of 69-69.
Once the overtime period began, the Pirates broke free from the Bearcats and were able to score six points before Willamette could score one. The score ended with a Pirate victory, 81-77.
“I think it was more of a continuation of the second half,” Head Coach Matt Logie said. “In order to force overtime we had to get a stop and score. Being able to do that gave us a lot of confidence going into overtime.”
The Pirates had no problem taking down George Fox on Saturday night. Less than ten minutes into the match, the Pirates already held a ten-point lead over the Bruins, 21-11. Throughout the first half, the Pirates widened their lead and ended the half with a score of 48-31.
“We knew that we had to address the lack of energy and talk that we didn’t have [against Willamette],” junior Kenny Love said. “We knew that if we brought those to today’s game, we’d fair more successfully.”
The second half of the match paralleled the first, with the Pirates racking up points and the Bruins struggling to keep up. Senior George Valle led the Pirates’ offense with eight shots from the field and a 3-pointer. Senior Christian Jurlina also carried the Pirates to victory with seven shots from the field and one 3-pointer.
The Pirates ended the match, almost doubling the Bruins’ score, 91-57.
The Pirates continue to hold their national ranking and a 6-0 conference record. The Pirates will play again at home against Pacific Lutheran next weekend.